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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Forever Love...A Short Story

I've had it in my plans as a writer to publish novellas (book series) about a government agency. It's been on my back burner for over three years, and I've finally decided to definitely finish the first one.
Below is a sample of type of story that will be part of my book series:  "Watson County: Every Deputy Has a Story". There's a lot I would like to add to this post with an even more in depth story, but I'm waiting until the first book is out. This is just the beginning of a series on the lives of Watson County where you'll be a part of the journey of a rural Sheriff's Office with drama, love, scandals, two faced politics, loyalty to the badge and family, and courageous men and women wearing a badge that is often disrespected because of some of their actions as well as fellow officers. It's a story that once is out that I hope you'll follow. 
Enjoy the teaser!

I remember the first day we met. It seems like just yesterday that we met, and I can see the hallways at Clifton High with all the silver lockers and the scent of Lysol that hung in the air because Ms. Renee (janitor) was determined to keep us from getting sick. You were leaning against your locker, and I thought you were so cocky with your letterman jacket. Well, you were so cocky! Not only were you the vice-president of our class but the quarterback of the team too. You were very driven even in school.  I liked that, but I didn’t like you at first. You seemed like a know-it-all. 

You looked at me from your locker and winked, and I almost failed over from laughter thinking such a lame move from this popular guy named Sam. I mean why didn’t you just come up and talk to me? But later you did because you asked me out five times over the course of couple of weeks. 

I finally gave in and said yes cause you were so damn cute with those dark eyes. But do you know what it was that got me to say yes? When you showed me that you cared. I had just got back to school from being out of town attending Shelby's funeral (my best friend from back home). A drunk driver killed her while she was on her way home from cheerleading. I was still crushed and couldn’t stop crying, and you came up to me at my locker, and touched my shoulder and looked me in the eyes and said “Rachel, look at me. I’m here, you can talk to me. I’ll listen or just cry on my shoulder. I'll hold you up." From that day on you did just that, you held me up with your words and actions as my friend.

I think I cried for five minutes before I could pull myself together. You gave me a hug and said if I needed anything that you would be there for me. You cared and acted on it. The next day at school, you brought me a card. Of course, I cried again. I never forgot that act of kindness, and I didn’t. You asked me out for the sixth time a couple of weeks later, and I said yes.
That yes was just the beginning of us: Sam and Rachel.

Fast forward to our college years, and we couldn’t imagine a life without each other. You finally proposed to me in our senior year. Do you remember bending on one knee on the football field with everyone from the college looking on? Our parents were there in the stands too! I was in just jeans and a T-shirt. And that was the best YES of my life. We had a beautiful wedding with our closest friends and family at Cathedral of Praise. We had so much celebrating afterwards and then that night we made love all night or so it seemed. Forever love was just starting, and it started off with a bang. 

Then two years, we moved into our very first home that we bought together. By then you were a detective with the local Sheriff’s Office, and I was teaching second grade. We couldn’t be happier. I was so proud of you with everything that you accomplished from being a deputy to detective. You worked hard and earned it. 

Today, I’m going through so many memories with you right now. I miss you. I wrote this last night and wanted to share this with you.

 I had to write something about you Sam and that was about our love and how I just want to see you. I'm still haunted with the memory of Sheriff Jenkins coming to my school with Chaplin Hill. I was called to the front office, and they were waiting on me. I looked at them and just knew, but I didn't know what exactly.  I just knew you were gone.  They sat me down and told me that you died in a car crash on your way to investigate a missing child's case. 

A drunk driver killed you. Just like my friend Shelby, but you couldn't hold me and tell me everything was going to be OK. You weren't there to whisper in my ear and tell me that it was fine for me to cry until I was spent. That it was fine for me to lean on you for strength. I couldn't feel your arms around me. You weren't there because you were gone. It's been three months which seems like eternity without you.

You were taken from me and our baby. Yes, Sam, we are expecting. I found out a month after the funeral. I couldn't believe my ears when the doctor confirmed it. She was conceived the night before what I call: the worst day of my life. So, I'm laying on our favorite blanket in front of your grave to tell you that you are going to be the father. I just found out today that we're having a baby girl. I couldn't wait to tell you.

She's never going to get to meet you, but she will know who you are. She will know that you were the kindest man who ever walked the earth, and she will know that you had a big heart who cared and volunteered with Boy Scouts. She'll  know that you were an only child who wanted a house full of kids and also know that you were loved and still loved by me. Most of all, I want her to know that without our forever love that she wouldn't be here. It was our love that created her.

I hope she has your dark eyes and your kind heart. I hope she has your height because being short can be challenging. I hope that she has your sense of humor and quick wit. If you were here, you would tell me she's going to have my curly blonde hair, but babe dark hair always is dominant. Do you remember how we use to daydream about our child together? You would tease me that no matter what sex of the child we would have that they'll know how to dance for sure because of my years of dancing at recitals, and that they would be sassy. You always called me "Sassy".

Sam, I'm still broken and miss all of you today. I also wanted you to know I'm naming her after you. I'm naming her Sammie Lynn.  Well, you know I can't her Samuel. Smile. You know that's funny.

I'll be here next week and again I'm going to talk to you. I know that maybe you can't  hear me, but I have to believe that you're looking down and that you're listening. Until next time Sam....my forever love.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Chat with Roxzane T. Mims...Atlanta Actor, Director and So Much More!

My latest interview is with Roxzane T. Mims. She was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her mother was an opera singer who chose to raise her baby daughters, rather than pursue a demanding career that would require her to leave them for two years. Her love of acting started watching her mother rehearse and perform in just about every community theatre production in town. She followed suit with school plays and the local theater. Eventually expanding to local commercials. She later moved to Atlanta and has been active in the acting community since 1989.  She has been in various roles on television from “Greenleaf”,  “Being Mary Jane”, “Star” to films “The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn” with Sidney Poitier as well as starring in the film “Mosaic” which can be viewed on Amazon.

Introducing Roxzane... 

What do you love about your life right now?
That I’m finally beginning to feel like a “working” actor instead of “I hope this happens for me”.  Don’t get me wrong, I
have a lot more I want to do and a lot more work to do to get there. But at my age, I finally see real hope that it could happen.

Are you fearless in going after your dreams?

I wish I could say yes to fearless, but even if fear rears its ugly head, I’m still going for it. “God has not given us a spirit of fear...” I hold on to that.

 If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?

Directing or singing I can do both pretty well.
Or I’d be pretty miserable in some job and doing Community Theater, so I don’t kill someone. That’s kind of a joke.

 Was there a particular actor or film that inspired you to act?

Truthfully, my Mother in “Madam Butterfly” and in “Raisin in the Sun”; both productions brought professionals in from New York, and she killed it.  
Roxzane in "My Cousin Vinny"

You have played many different roles; your filmography is impressive on IMDb.  You’ve played a judge, lawyer, detective, mother, police chief, and your most recent role of Darlene on the hit show “Greenleaf”. Do you have a favorite role?

I absolutely love Darlene. There are sides of myself I rarely get to use in my acting. She’s motherly, business, sassy, protective, and playful. Yeah, I love “me” in her.
Roxzane with cast members of "Star"

Which role was the hardest to prepare for?

My role ins “Mosaic” as Ruth Anderson. There is coldness, hardness, and cruelness about the way she loves that I had to find.  I understand why it was there, but it was so different from the way I operate I had to go someplace unfamiliar. But it was so much fun. I recently had to go there again in an online miniseries called “Thick Skin” check it out.

What have you enjoyed about being in the cast of “Greenleaf”?

Working on a top-notch show with highly professional, generous and kind seasoned actors? What’s not to enjoy? I appreciate every bit of it.

 Do you have a favorite character or two on the show?

Or 3 or 4 or? I love these people. If I must:
Lady Mae you don’t play with, but to see her vulnerable side peak out is magic. (And to know Lynn Whitfield is the loveliest person ever makes it more so).
Grace without question always keeps me guessing which side of her we will see; I love that, because that’s all of us. Dealing with our Faith walk in this crazy world sure aint easy.
 Jacob, I love seeing him…. break free I guess. In the beginning, he seemed so lost and now I see all this manliness, this strength, it’s very cool.  
Roxzane with Lynn Whitfield who plays Lady Mae on "Greenleaf"

Roxzane as Darlene with Merle Dandridge who plays Grace on "Greenleaf"

For those who are not actors but who want to become one, what’s the process to book a role? How do you hear about parts?

Now that’s the question of the year. For non-actors:
 How do you become a Doctor…a Lawyer…? A CPA? A Realtor, a Restaurant Manager?
My point, there is nothing about this business that is quick and easy. I know it looks like it sometimes with all the reality show stars. That is not real acting, real acting is a true craft that you need to study, work hard and apply yourself to just be decent and even more so if you want to be really good. If starting later in life (like me), you have the small advantage of life experience you can use, but you still need to learn your craft. And it is not a speed learning craft. (Just my opinion).
For actors without an agent looking for roles: Actors Access, Facebook, 800casting, Casting Network. Going to film festivals and making contacts especially in this market because there are so many new filmmakers doing their own thing. The next Tyler Perry or Donald Glover is right here in our mist.

 For you, what are some of the joys of acting?

Doing the work to find the you in a character and seeing it come to life (even with auditions you may never get to perform anywhere else). Then having someone else see it and recognize it as good work, that’s nice. Plus, it’s fun, like being a kid and getting your first bike that you can’t ride. You fall, but you are so excited to learn how to ride.

Can you tell me about the challenges of acting and how you learn to face them?

Finding the money to do all the things needed to advance your career. Classes, headshots, demo reels, casting websites, maintaining hair, nails etc. Not to mention paying your every day bills. And if you have a day job the challenge is being able to do the auditions and jobs and not lose said job.
I did a lot of bartering for classes, seasonal jobs, catering jobs and any paying acting gigs no matter how small. I had a good support system (not financial, emotional) that encouraged me.

What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing acting as a career?

Never stop learning, growing, and exploring in your craft. Don’t let the grind keep you from having fun in the process. It can get overwhelming if you let it.

 Tell me three fun facts about you.

I love...love..love being a Neene (grandmother, but don’t call me that).
I can be really silly (ask anyone who’s seen me do “the Wizard of Oz”).
You pronounce my name “Rock zOn” not “rocks Ann”. I didn’t name me, and my mom was adamant about saying it correctly, so I am too. Ask anyone who knows me.

I share motivational and inspiring quotes with my readers, can you share one with me that motivates you?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.

 Who are your biggest supporters?

My whole family and my ex-husband (who expects to get one of the two Academy Award guest tickets when I’m nominated, lol) ; he did spend a lot of years making sure the bills were paid while I used my money for my career.

 If there was one thing that you could change in the world,
what would that be?

The fact that racism is still so prevalent and accepted in this day and age. I hate that my grandbabies will have to endure it.

 As well as acting, you’ve also have directed as well. Do you enjoy directing and are you planning on directing in the near future?

I do enjoy it, and if the opportunity comes up I might. But my focus currently is in front of the camera. Directing is no joke,  and I don’t feel like I’m good enough to do both at the same time. Maybe in a few years.

Roxzane directing.

Any actor or director you would love to work with?

Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Matthew McConaughey, Don Cheadle ...Way too many to name.
Also, Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes again to many to name

In your opinion, what makes a woman beautiful?

What makes a beautiful Person is: Kindness, compassion and a heart that can love (even the unlovely) and is able to forgive. We all need that and should strive to be that which isn't easy.

Roxzane with Richard Roundtree

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

My Chat with Yasin Abdul of Atlanta....Actor and Model

Yasin in Atlanta modeling "Simply Wynn" on Peachtree Street.  Photo Credit:  Ralph E. WIlliams of e37Photography

Yasin Abdul is an actor as well as a model in Atlanta. He moved to Atlanta in 2011 from Atlantic City, New Jersey to be close to his Mother and work.  It wasnt in his plans to become an actor or a model, but thanks to Twitter and a fellow tweeter his direction in life changed from pro-boxing to now acting and modeling.
A young lady, who was a model, posted a comment on his physique after seeing his shirtless pic on Twitter, and she wanted to know if he was a fitness trainer. She had an upcoming photo shoot and wanted training to be in shape for it. They later met for lunch, and she encouraged him to go into modeling and introduced him to fashion designers as her payment for training her. He agreed to the offer and was introduced to a fashion designer. About a month later he was walking his first runaway show modeling for Beach Bling swim wear. With that fashion designer, he was on a fashion tour that traveled from state to state doing fashion runway shows.
Yasin during his pro-boxing days. His fights have been viewed on ESPN.
Pic by James C. Lewis

After that experience in modeling, he decided he wanted more exposure and money, and that's when he decided he would try out acting. His first acting gig was on "Vampire Diaries" which aired on CWTV. He played a photo double for another male actor. From that day on, he decided he would do more of acting than anything else.  Since this interview, Yasin has landed a lead role in the film "Punch Off" which is about a fighter.

Introducing Yasin...

What do you love about your life right now?

What I love about my life right now is my growth and development. I love how I go out in the world pushing hard doing whatever is necessary to provide for my family. I love the motivation within myself.

You’re a model for Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers, how long have you been modeling for the company?

 I have been modeling Custom fitted suits for Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers for a year, and it has been an amazing experience for me. It has been a wonderful blessing to model for the owners of Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers.

Who are the owners?

Mr. Kelvin and Lauren Burford

What do you like about Simply Wynn and their clothing?

I like how they both come together and brainstorm on ideas and make their ideas into reality. The way they custom make my suits to fit my body is so amazing. They take their time to measure every inch and part of my body to make sure that they have exactly what they need to make their idea into a reality, and I truly love that about them. 

What do you love about acting?

I love to bring my characters to life and make it all look real to people who are watching. It’s a huge enjoyment that I get when acting. 

Tell me about the latest film you’re working on?

 Right now, I’m actually working on three film projects one is called "Shechotic", and the other is called "Beautiful Scars Behind Closed Doors."  "Shechotic" is drama movie based around love triangle, sex, lies and murder mystery, and "Beautiful Scars" is also a drama movie that so many people in relationships can relate to because it deals with sex, lies and cheaters.  The third film project is called "Roscoe Risin" which is already filming. This movie is about 2 guys making millions of dollars in drug trafficking, and it becomes war between them both and many innocents lives are lost in that game of life. 

Yasin with moive poster for "Beautiful Scars Behind Closed Doors"

Is there a role that you have enjoyed more than the others?

Actually there are two main roles that I enjoy more than any other roles and that’s me being a dirty cop and a tough gangster drug dealer. Those roles I can let myself loose and be a real asshole!! I can be that character in any movie when people are watching they’ll say, “Oh there goes that idiot I can’t stand him!”.  But it’s true because I can bring those characters to life and make it seem all-real and make you hate me as you’re watching.

Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry and why?

Tyler Perry because of where he came from after having so many doors closed on him and watching become very successful after living on the streets as a homeless man. I watch his struggles and how he has overcome that. He is my motivation.

What’s your favorite film?

"Boyz In Da Hood" and "Menace II Society"! Hopefully they’ll come out with a second part,  so I can audition for a role. 

Now, as an actor and model, do you feel that it's important to be fit and to exercise and if so why?

Yes, most definitely because we as actors are always called for roles that we have to be in physical shape to do. So, I make sure that I’m eating right and working out an hour a day, so I can always stay ready for any physical challenge.

As everyone knows in the acting industry, there are rejections. How do you handle rejection?

I have been rejected so many times that I have lost count. I have gone into auditions, and I know that I nailed the role that I was asked to play and was turned down for whatever reason. However, I have always told myself to continue on my journey because when one door closes that two more will open. Whenever I’m rejected, I keep my head high and stay focus. When one a door closes it's because it wasn't meant for me, and I move on. 

How do you prepare for a role? What’s your process?

I prepare myself mentally trying to stay focus. I always make sure that I’m inside a room by myself, so I can tune into myself and feel relax. I go over my lines pretty fast and also try to learn the lines of whomever I’m acting with because it sometimes helps me to remember my own lines.

Tell me three fun facts about you.

I love to ride my dirt bike. I love to laugh because I can be silly, and I love to play the “guess who this is game”.

In one word describe you. 


I share motivational quote with my readers. Do you have one you can share? 

Go hard for what you really want in life because what you put in is what you will get out of it.
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